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January 25, 2021

12/2/2020 10:59:00 AM
Michael Pankonin

Michael "Mike" Pankonin, 76, of Windom died Nov. 28, 2020, at his home in Windom.
A private family memorial service will be held today (Wednesday) at LaCanne Family Funeral Home in Windom with Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Stewart officiating.
LaCanne Family Funeral Service of Windom is handling the funeral arrangements.
Michael "Mike" Louis Pankonin was born Feb. 17, 1944, to Kermit Elmer and Evelyn Agatha (Casey) Pankonin in Windom. He was baptized through Windom Evangelical Free Church at Cottonwood Lake and was a member of the church in his early years.
Mike received his education in Windom Public Schools, graduating from Windom High School in 1962. He attended Worthington Community College for two years.
In 1964, Mike married Eileen Thomas at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. They were blessed with three children - Cindy, Lisa and Tom - before the marriage was later dissolved.
In 2002, Mike married JoAnn "Joy" Byam at the Cottonwood County Courthouse in Windom.
Over the years, Mike worked for several auto body shops and had his own radiator repair shop. He ended his career working for 35½ years as a mechanic with the city of Windom Street Department before retiring in 2009.
In retirement, Mike and Joy continued living in Windom.
Mike was a past member and president of the Cottonwood County Game and Fish League. He spearheaded the Cottonwood Lake aeration system and saw it to its completion. Mike also was a member of the Roulettes band and raced cars as a young adult.
In 2009, he received the Mayor's Medal of Honor "Mayor's Choice" award for many items he designed and fabricated, including picnic tables, lights and hanging flower pots. He also made modifications to the city's street sweeper, which earned him an award through a mechanics magazine contest. Those modifications were later incorporated into the new street sweeper design.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing, billiards and golf. Most of all, he enjoyed time spent with family.
He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Patsy Ann Pankonin.
Survivors include his wife, Joy Pankonin of Windom; three children: Cindy (Troy) Pankonin-Fundahn and Thomas (Colleen) Pankonin, all of Mankato, and Lisa Sprague (Shawn Licht) of Windom; eight grandchildren; his stepmom, Evelyn Pankonin of Windom; and three siblings: Gene (Donna) Pankonin and James (Jean) Pankonin, all of Windom, and Pamela (Jeffrey) Stewart of Apple Valley.

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